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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 202302 Find in a Library
Title: Dead Time: And the Winner Is?
Journal: Canadian Police Chief Magazine  Dated:Spring/Summer 2003  Pages:16-17,20,22
Author(s): Gord Schumacher
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 5
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English; French
Country: Canada
Annotation: This article examines the practice in Canadian courts of providing credit on the sentence of a convicted defendant for time served in pretrial detention.
Abstract: The Criminal Code of Canada has codified the ability of a judge to provide credit for pretrial custody; it does not, however, make mandatory the provision of such credit. The practice is based on judicial discretion, and there is no mathematical formula specified for determining the credit. Courts appear to be providing excessive credit on a regular basis. Some judges have indicated that credit in excess of the "real" time served is because of the harsh conditions of pretrial custody, which generally lack the features necessary for a humane existence and do not provide rehabilitation programs, education opportunities, or access to recreational activities and entertainment. This article argues that a sentencing judge should ordinarily give credit for pretrial custody; denying credit should not be done without good reason, given a clear issue of fairness. The variation in granting excessive credit beyond the "real" time served in pretrial detention, however, is also unfair to offenders in similar circumstances who receive differing proportions of credit. It is only through legislation that the wide variations in credit for pretrial custody can be addressed.
Main Term(s): Foreign courts
Index Term(s): Canada; Judicial discretion; Pretrial detention; Prison conditions; Sentencing/Sanctions
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